Michael A. Ferraro, Esq., P.C.
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A mistake in your personal vehicle can affect your CDL

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2022 | DWI defense |

As a professional with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you understand that those with a CDL are subject to more limitations and higher standards than the average driver. You are subject to state and federal traffic laws, in addition to any policies your employer might have.

For the most part, what you do when you are not at work won’t affect your professional success. However, when you drive for a living, your driving habits in your personal vehicle can potentially affect your career.

New York state rules for commercial drivers include rules temporarily limiting your eligibility for a CDL after a driving under the influence (DUI) charge in your vehicle.

Why does an off-duty DUI matter?

Your eligibility for a CDL depends on your driving history, including how you conduct yourself when you aren’t at work. Even speeding tickets in your own vehicle can eventually make you ineligible for a CDL and increase the costs to insure you while you work. If you get arrested for drunk driving in your own vehicle, a conviction or guilty plea will mean an immediate loss of your CDL.

Those accused of drunk driving offenses have high rates of recidivism even after they have declined in recent decades. A significant number of people who drive drunk once will do so repeatedly even after an arrest and conviction. In other words, someone who has gotten behind the wheel drunk once has a worse chance of getting arrested again for the same offense later than someone who has no history of impaired driving.

Protecting your profession means avoiding a conviction

While you might never engage in risky behaviors at the wheel of a commercial vehicle, the government has no way of knowing that. Under New York state law, a DUI conviction in a private vehicle will result in a one-year loss of eligibility for a CDL. If you want to retain any kind of driving privileges, you will likely need to downgrade your license during that time.

The only way to avoid a temporary time-out for your career after a drunk driving arrest is to fight back and avoid the conviction. Planning an aggressive DUI defense can help you protect not just your driving record but also your commercial licensing.